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Financial services

Planning the journey to sustainable business operations in Financial Services

Sustainable transition is now a business necessity for banks, and it will become a regulatory obligation in the coming years.

Sustainable Banking

Sustainable business operations are no longer a ‘nice to have’ objective. Rather, they are now a business necessity. The Financial Services (FS) sector has a critical role to play in addressing environmental and climate risks. As businesses across the world look to meet aggressive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets, FS players can lead by example. How? By establishing sustainable offers, financing mechanisms, and investment principles.

As we assert in our new Sustainable Banking Point of View, on a path measured by responsibility, FS organizations have an opportunity both to finance the right projects and to empower firms, society, and people wanting to accelerate their energy transition journey. We argue that without FS, the path to sustainability will be harder, if not impossible.

In Sustainable Banking, we ask how banks should plan their journey to a comprehensive transition to sustainable business operations. We look at what it takes to be a leader when it comes to a sustainable vision – and argue that very few banks have acquired that status.

Sustainable business operations should be tackled comprehensively, simultaneously addressing the biosphere (climate, biodiversity, clean water), society (poverty, education, access to energy and to health services), and the economy (decent working conditions, reduced inequalities).

So, where do you begin? We define six fields of play that should form the basis of successful transition planning:

  • Define/assert the strategy and transformation plan
  • Engage stakeholders
  • Create new products & services
  • Establish responsible operations & processes
  • Adopt green IT practices
  • Address the challenge of measurement

Taking these steps is a matter of business survival. We are convinced that companies failing to act on CSR issues will stop operating in the face of the economic realities of the 2030s and beyond.